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Social work., 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
While research has been conducted on social work graduates’ views of their readiness and preparedness for practice, the views of social care workers have not been specifically researched. This paper reports on the views of social care graduates in Ireland of how ready they are to join the workforce and how their educational programme has prepared them. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with the same participants. The first was at the end of their final year in college and the second between 9 and 12 months later when they were in employment. Findings indicate that participants, while apprehensive, felt ready for the workforce. Although awareness of the difference between placement and work was apparent, placement was seen as essential preparation. Differences were apparent in judgements of academic modules, suggesting that views on the usefulness of different knowledge types are subjective. Common however was an increasing focus on the usefulness of practical knowledge after time in employment suggesting that, as found in research involving experienced practitioners, the theoretical underpinnings of practice are not emphasised in the workplace. Suggestions are made for educators to maintain an approach to practice that is informed by a body of knowledge beyond specific workplace practices.
Fiona McSweeney & Dave Williams (2019) Social care graduates’ judgements of their readiness and preparedness for practice, Social Work Education, 38:3, 359-376, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2018.1521792